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Understanding Linear Function: A Comparison of Selected Textbooks from England and Shanghai

Wang, Y.; Barmby, P.; Bolden, D.

Understanding Linear Function: A Comparison of Selected Textbooks from England and Shanghai Thumbnail


Authors

P. Barmby



Abstract

This study describes a comparison of how worked examples in selected textbooks from England and Shanghai presented possible learning trajectories towards understanding linear function. Six selected English textbooks and one Shanghai compulsory textbook were analysed with regards to the understanding required for pure mathematics knowledge in linear function. Understanding was defined as being at five levels: Dependent Relationship, Connecting Representations, Local Properties Noticing, Object Analysis and Inventising. These levels were developed by examining the most prominent theories from the existing literature on understanding function. Findings suggested that the English textbooks constrained the structural aspect of understanding linear function due to a point-to-point view of function, while the Shanghai textbook which focussed on a variable view of function overemphasised the algebraic approach. The discussion explored the drawbacks to each approach and what teachers or textbook writers could do to balance these two approaches in order to facilitate students’ understanding towards a structural view of linear function.

Citation

Wang, Y., Barmby, P., & Bolden, D. (2017). Understanding Linear Function: A Comparison of Selected Textbooks from England and Shanghai. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(1), 131-153. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-015-9674-x

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 23, 2015
Online Publication Date Sep 8, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 8, 2016
Journal International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Print ISSN 1571-0068
Electronic ISSN 1573-1774
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Pages 131-153
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-015-9674-x
Keywords Comparative study, Linear function, Textbook analysis, Understanding.

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